This weekend is our village’s big local fiesta: the Romeria de Torrijos.
The streets are decked out in bright orange and green paper decorations (green for the Andalucian flag; not sure where the orange comes from), with some fancy Christmas-style lights thrown in for good measure.
The celebrations involve various masses, concerts and the like, but the main event is the procession down to the Hacienda de Torrijos, just outside the town, on Sunday afternoon. It’s one of my favourite events of the whole year, although my enjoyment of it is tempered by the need to be vigilant of my (young) children, snatching them from under wheels and hooves.
Head-tossing, snorting horses with elegant riders, both jinetes and amazonas; ox-drawn carriolas; carretas decked out in pretty colours; horse-drawn carts; and tractors pulling trailers all drive past, as we stand and sip a beer. Groups of women dressed in flamenca gear sing hearty songs, accompanied by tambourines and much whooping and clapping. Then there’s a big lunch, lots of dancing and an afternoon of celebration al andaluz. Ideal for fashion-watchers above all, with the amazonas riding side-saddle in long, close-fitting skirts, all perfect neutrals, contrasting perfectly with bright pink, turquoise and pillar-box-red frilly flamenca frocks, complete with coordinating accessories.
I was very excited to see a painting of the romeria in the new Carmen Thyssen musem in Malaga.
Here you can see the actual hacienda, which dates from Moorish times.
As with many such events, you need to know someone well to get an in (by which I mean an invitation to one of the meals – they are organised by groups of friends), which we don’t sadly, but we can still watch the proceedings. You can grab eat-in-one-hand snacks – pinchos and montaditos – but nothing substantial,and actual picnicking – sitting on the ground on a rug and eating sandwiches – is not part of la cultura andaluza.
Tonight there’s the pre-pre-party so we’ll be taking a stroll through the town centre with the children. Like last year, the weather forecast is for cooler weather, which would suit both participants (especially four-legged ones) and spectators alike perfectly. As long as the sky stays blue – firstly as ideal photographic conditions, and secondly, to stop the locals from complaining, “¡Que dia mas feo!”, which is the standard comment for anything other than azure, cloudless skies and dazzling sunshine.
Today I’ve celebrated a week doing A Post A Day – seven posts in seven days, now it’s just the rest of the month to go…